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Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 3 Days Ago  
To full or not to full (frame) - that is the question
Posted By BarryE
Replies: 84
Views: 2,445
Could you hire a K-1 to see what it might give you ? However, I was underwhelmed when I switched to FF, but over time I came to see the benefits, so in reality you might have a problem deciding over a short time scale. The extra scope you have with FF opens up more possibilities in testing conditions, especially.
Forum: Flashes, Lighting, and Studio 3 Days Ago  
Cactus and Pentax flashes working together ?
Posted By BarryE
Replies: 20
Views: 721
Guess that makes some sense, but an off camera Pentax via cord zooms the flash. So not entirely consistent. No problem - I've just been working out how they work, what's different and what I have to remember.

Overall the Cactus trigger and flash work well. Yes, the Pentax is more refined and consistent, but it doesn't offer the convenience of the Cactus gear which is also a lot cheaper.

Hopefully, I've all its foilbles worked out now ...
Forum: Flashes, Lighting, and Studio 5 Days Ago  
Cactus and Pentax flashes working together ?
Posted By BarryE
Replies: 20
Views: 721
Just tried shutter speeds of around 1/400 (in camera M mode) so in the HSS region. By default the Cactus works fine. The Pentax has to be set, via the sync button, to HSS. Works as is. Never tried this, so I was surprised it was so simple just freely dialling in speeds beyond the native sync speed. Wonder if I've missed something ... ?
Forum: Flashes, Lighting, and Studio 6 Days Ago  
Cactus and Pentax flashes working together ?
Posted By BarryE
Replies: 20
Views: 721
The fact that I can't highlight the scale by pressing the exposure compensation button - it just bounces back to aperture - is the issue. It just happens infrequently. I'll monitor it.

Cactus firmware all upto date.

The zoom works from the trigger, but not automatically when zooming the lens as it does with the corded Pentax flash. This is what I didn't realise.

Thanks for responding ...
Forum: Flashes, Lighting, and Studio 6 Days Ago  
Cactus and Pentax flashes working together ?
Posted By BarryE
Replies: 20
Views: 721
Peter, the 'bug' occurred when I was at 1/100 this morning. Only happened once in 90 mins testing.

A few more tests is perhaps showing a difference between the performance of the Cactus and the Pentax flashes that was probably behind my uncertainty with using both in fully auto mode:

With the camera in AV and Pentax flash in P-TTL, I varied the aperture taking the same subject. The resulting images were very similar. The camera was controlling the flash power very accurately. However, the same is not true with the Cactus flash. It isn't bad, but it is not as accurate eg at f16 it was fine, but as I opened up the aperture the exposures became a little more and more overexposed - this didn't happen with the Pentax flash. So when I was using them both together a few days back, this different behaviour was not obvious and I was not happy with the results. The solution is to put both flashes in different groups and then as the aperture changes to allow for the Cactus's variance. Probably not too much of an issue as in AV mode the aperture is being chosen for the job in hand. But I suspect it is showing the superior performance of the Pentax flash - not entirely surprising.

Also, confusion was previously occurring because using the triggers zooming a lens does not zoom either of the flashes. Again, it's not surprising that when the Pentax flash is connected by a cord it zooms fine and I had expected this to be happening. Previously I had both flashes on the other side of the room so I did not notice zooming was not happening. A limitation, but not serious if understood.

Going fully manual, camera and flashes, gives me control for static room and product shots. If I had two Pentax flashes off camera controlled by a master on the hot shoe, I would probably stay in AV and P-TTL, but it would have cost a lot more than using Cactus gear.

For non static shots, ie moving around with portraits etc., I need to think through whether I'd use AV and TTL on flashes, camera in manual and TTL flashes, or fully manual (both camera and flashes). Probably it depends. Will continue experimenting ...
Forum: Flashes, Lighting, and Studio 06-11-2019, 12:19 PM  
Cactus and Pentax flashes working together ?
Posted By BarryE
Replies: 20
Views: 721
Don't think this is it Peter. I found I could happily dial in an exposure compensation, then at some point later when I press the +/- button to further adjust the exposure compensation its display briefly highlights, but then jumps back to highlight the aperture.This is not correct. It should toggle on the button being depressed as it normally does. Switching camera off and on with then with the same settings it works fine, until some time later when it seems to get confused again. It seems to be random, though I suspect there is some sequence/combination that is confusing the camera.
Forum: Flashes, Lighting, and Studio 06-11-2019, 08:40 AM  
Cactus and Pentax flashes working together ?
Posted By BarryE
Replies: 20
Views: 721
Whoops a bit loose that. Of course I'm meaning exposure compensation. Sorry ...
Forum: Flashes, Lighting, and Studio 06-11-2019, 05:18 AM  
Cactus and Pentax flashes working together ?
Posted By BarryE
Replies: 20
Views: 721
Ok I switched back to PEN.A.005 to run TTL. I put the two flashes in different groups controlled from the transmitter on the camera. All works as expected, but I do find myself struggling with TTL just trying to be too clever. With the flashes at 45% on either side of the subject, I struggled to control the flash power balance independently for each flash. When moving the flashes around and modifying them it was throwing up surprises. So I switched back to manual - back in control. With the flashes in different groups it's easy to dial in +/- EV to each flash as well as control the ambient. So I've worked out my options, so far. I've yet to do HSS - that comes next, if required.

Overall the Cactus gear and the Pentax flash work well together. My problem is the clever/auto/TTL trying too hard at times and not being able to read my mind ;-)

Now a bug? With the K-1 in AV every now and again, I could not adjust the camera's EV. The EV button would just hop back to aperture. Powering off/on and it worked fine - for a while. Anyone seen this ? I've never seen it without the Cactus trigger mounted - I work in AV 99% of the time and I'm forever adjusting the EV. So it's a K1/Cactus interaction. I wonder what's happening ...?
Forum: Flashes, Lighting, and Studio 06-05-2019, 09:44 AM  
Advice needed for lighting options
Posted By BarryE
Replies: 18
Views: 621
Scrim the windows and shoot through the diffused layer with radio linked flash(es) on high stand outside. Would give a controlled outside light appearance. Then bounce some light back with large reflector - silver, probably to give a contrasty look with young skin, rather than white. Or DIY/building store for large white building boarding as cheap reflector. Then snoot/grid to create the detail and realistic catch. Maybe an uplift light or a triflector to work a little light from below.

Hope it goes well and don't forget to report back ...
Forum: Flashes, Lighting, and Studio 05-31-2019, 05:50 AM  
Cactus and Pentax flashes working together ?
Posted By BarryE
Replies: 20
Views: 721
More a counter in a business park warehouse than a shop. I like the idea of them being local and they don't really overlap with SRS which supports Pentax so well.
Forum: Flashes, Lighting, and Studio 05-31-2019, 04:37 AM  
Cactus and Pentax flashes working together ?
Posted By BarryE
Replies: 20
Views: 721
More a counter in a business park warehouse than a shop. I like the idea of them being local and they don't really overlap with SRS which supports Pentax so well.
Forum: Flashes, Lighting, and Studio 05-31-2019, 12:47 AM  
Cactus and Pentax flashes working together ?
Posted By BarryE
Replies: 20
Views: 721
Thanks Peter. I'm a little rushed at present so will be delayed in trying out what you suggest. I installed X-TTL as there was more to the story that I didn't include - I wanted to have the set-up to share with another photographer (Canon), but that's only a wish. I'll switch to the Pentax version and retry in a few days. Being in full manual mode is probably best for me, but having the option to drop to TTL if required will be perfect.

Good to hear your confidence in the gear. I know you've mentioned it before and it was mostly your recommendation that lead me decide to buy the kit, plus you're nearby if it all went wrong and I could shout at you for bad advice ;-)

As an aside, Peter, have you come across Speedgraphic near Alton ? For non-Pentax studio gear I've been using them a lot recently as I can drop in, try gear and discuss with them. Nice to have this resource nearby.

Thanks
Forum: Flashes, Lighting, and Studio 05-30-2019, 10:19 AM  
Cactus and Pentax flashes working together ?
Posted By BarryE
Replies: 20
Views: 721
Ok I'm a little confused ...

>>> Edit. I'm making progress :-) So I've removed my question(s). I'll update as I get on. Sorry for any wasted time ...

Here's what I've discovered so far. FYI, in case anyone is interested ...

I wanted to be able to fire a Pentax AF540 and a Cactus RF 60X from my K-1 and be able to control the flashes from the camera.

(Cactus flash firmware at latest and transceivers using X-TTL firmware.)

Starting with camera set on manual so I have full control of shutter/aperture/ISO and a V6ii transceiver on camera set in TX mode.
AF540 in TTL mode mounted on a cactus transceiver in RX mode. I can control the ambient light from the manual settings on camera and fill with both the flashes using the transceiver on the camera with a simple rotation of the dial to control the flashes' power.

Next if I want to have the flashes use separate power, then I can set the Pentax to manual and use its power settings, or I assume I could set the transceivers on a different channel per flash. I assume the more sensible method is to use a different channel for each flash.

What I have here is not what I was expecting, as all it is is a convenient way to remotely trigger the flashes and control from the camera the power and zoom.

It isn't automatic though. It is this lack of automatic use that I'm struggling with. I was thinking that the full P-TTL communication between the camera and the Pentax flash would be possible using these transceivers. Maybe it is. At the moment I'm not really that bothered by this as I feel that in full manual (as described above) I probably have a more controlled way of working eg set up subject and flashes on stands with modifiers fitted then I can move the camera around knowing the lighting will be constant on the subject. And with simple tethering via LR the results can be seen instantly.

The Cactus user guides are not especially well organised, or written. Maybe this is to be expected. There is a lot the set-up can do which I doubt I'll ever want, but if I can get confident that I can grab the the transceivers, flick them onto TX or RX, mount the Pentax flash and it will work repeatedly then it will be a great set-up. If, however, I find that I'm having to fiddle around, perhaps remembering to switch the devices on in precise orders and then re-set parameters I'll will be a pain and will not look good.

If anyone is interested I'll report back, but it will be after a gap of a few days as I have other things to do.

Slowly getting there ...
Forum: Digital Processing, Software, and Printing 05-26-2019, 12:57 AM  
K1 in print test
Posted By BarryE
Replies: 84
Views: 3,446
So true. With a proper colour management (which takes time and money to set-up), a printer service that supplies accurate profiles for each paper chosen so soft proofing can be achieved (careful matching of rendering intent, black point etc as agreed with printer service), then an accurate screen/paper match can be achieved. Repeatedly. No guesses. Anything else is a lottery.

Ref the Dmax discussion and glossy/matt/contrast conversation(s)... It's a pity the subtly of tonal variations, rather than full on saturation impact, is so often forgotten. A quality matt paper holds tones beautifully. Print it. Put it aside. Don't compare with screen (when properly colour managed) and enjoy the print for what it is - a separate item with it's own qualities.

Viewing colour temp is critical too. No colour cast from room. No reflections. Viewing angle of paper. Proper CRI lighting to study print. So often the screen is way too bright for a fair comparison of print. Again, once set-up, this all becomes unnecessary per print when the process is properly locked-down and soft-proofed etc.
Forum: Flashes, Lighting, and Studio 05-18-2019, 01:38 AM  
AF-540FGZ off-camera flash
Posted By BarryE
Replies: 8
Views: 630
Many thanks, Inkista, for your very comprehensive and helpful explanation of the options. It's detail and the willingness to assist like this that makes Pentax Forums such a useful resource.
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 05-11-2019, 11:07 AM  
Metz 52 AF and 64 AF on K1
Posted By BarryE
Replies: 7
Views: 1,002
I know this thread is a little dated but has anyone any up to date info on the Metz 64 AF-1 on the K-1 ? Has the latest firmware fixed the bugs ?
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 05-11-2019, 10:56 AM  
Differing shutter count results?
Posted By BarryE
Replies: 11
Views: 671
Never really thought about it, but is each pixel shift shot counted as 1 or 4 ? Assume this isn't the issue, but ...
Forum: Flashes, Lighting, and Studio 05-10-2019, 05:08 AM  
AF-540FGZ off-camera flash
Posted By BarryE
Replies: 8
Views: 630
To confirm, please:

A 540 connected to the camera's hotshoe via a cable, will work as an off-camera master to both itself flash and also to control another P-TTL flash gun. So giving me two off-camera flashes - one connected via a cable to the camera's hotshoe the other stand-alone, will both have full automatic function provided they're in optical line-of-site ?

How reliable is the optical triggering ? I'm thinking about other competing lights, and the flashes gelled and/or modified. I'm guessing they'll be fine provided their sensors are not obscured?
Forum: Flashes, Lighting, and Studio 05-09-2019, 11:35 PM  
Strobe or continuous ?
Posted By BarryE
Replies: 11
Views: 430
Thanks Brooke. Recently I've been working on product shots which required colour accuracy, thus my 'need' to control the light temp. It's helpful to think outside this narrow use towards more creative use of mixed lighting. Don't think I'll ever be working on dancers, though - you've captured their movement nicely. They're hard subjects as I found out many years ago when I used to draw them ...
Forum: Flashes, Lighting, and Studio 05-09-2019, 01:27 PM  
Strobe or continuous ?
Posted By BarryE
Replies: 11
Views: 430
It seems Godox are re-branded in UK as PiXAPRO. Just a few cosmetic differences and different warranty. They don't re-brand the entire range. I'll look through what they do.

I have found some negative reviews og Godox (well there's a surprise ...) that comment on the build quality. The controls, apparently, are not that robust and the usual quality control issues surface a few times. Gatorguy, I'm guessing you've not experienced any issues ?

As an interim as I slowly try and decide what to do, I've ordered a "Neewer S-Type Bracket Holder with Bowens Mount for Speedlite Flash" for a few pounds to adapt my 540 Pentax flash for Bowens s-type modifiers. I'll connect it via a long cord (as I don't have an on-camera controller), mount on a stand/boom etc. and see how I can shape/manipulate the light. Maybe I can use both my flash and continuous lights simultaneously for static subjects - can't see any reason not as they are all the same colour temp, provided I don't expect lots of light. If I sick with Bowens compatible LED heads, I should be able to build up strobe or a continuous or combined set-up over time. Staying away from LED panels is probably wise for me so I can share the modifiers.

Getting there ...
Forum: Flashes, Lighting, and Studio 05-09-2019, 09:33 AM  
Strobe or continuous ?
Posted By BarryE
Replies: 11
Views: 430
Talking pupil size gets into the realms of the shape and quality of the catch lights. Controlling this aspect has been a troubling when I've been experimenting briefly with LED panels without suitable variations of modifiers on products. Lots to learn and experiment with ...
Forum: Flashes, Lighting, and Studio 05-09-2019, 07:12 AM  
Strobe or continuous ?
Posted By BarryE
Replies: 11
Views: 430
Interestingly the SL series does not seem to be available from the GODOX UK distributor. I'll continue to dig around. Thanks.
Forum: Flashes, Lighting, and Studio 05-09-2019, 05:53 AM  
Strobe or continuous ?
Posted By BarryE
Replies: 11
Views: 430
That's along the lines I was hoping to hear - thank you.

Big studios and/or with a history/experience using studio strobes will be inclined, no doubt, to disagree with you (and increasingly me). My research and usage so far is definitely guiding me towards continuous rather than building up a flash based system.

So you've not gone with LED panels, if you're Bowens compatibly. Is this correct ? Which brand do you prefer ?

One obvious limitation with continuous is any movement shots - I'm thinking splashes in advertising shots etc., I can probably ignore that restriction ;-)

Good and useful point about co-working too.

Many thanks ...
Forum: Flashes, Lighting, and Studio 05-09-2019, 12:27 AM  
Strobe or continuous ?
Posted By BarryE
Replies: 11
Views: 430
I've recently asked questions about linking off camera flash and flash modifiers. Behind these questions was whether I should stick with flash or move to continuous.

When I take product shots I have a continuous LED set-up which works fine - it allows me to light paint too with the slower shutter speeds. Now the latest LED panels are getting much brighter and bi-colour options are also available (even some LED options can flash too), they are looking strong competition for flashes. In a mixed lighting location, say a property shot with different lights, flashes would have to be gelled, but a bi-colour LED panel would offer an easier option.

The what-you-see option of continuous offers many opportunities. The positioning for small fill and built in diffusion (mostly OK) and the ease of positioning then on mini stands, is making them look a better option than traditional flash. Yes, the intensity will not be there for a big battle against light streaming in through windows (bracketing then), but for many options as portable studio lights they are seemingly ahead, except for one reason and that is the lack of modifiers. There are some LED lights that are designed like P70s which take standard modifiers, but so far the panel style is lacking modifier support. This modifier problem I can quantify, so now I'm coming, in this rambling intro, to ask:

Taking into account the above, how do you consider the new continuous LED options as viable options for portable studio lighting for product, food, real estate and maybe portrait ? A wide question but hopefully it may spark off some valuable thoughts.

Thanks.
Forum: Flashes, Lighting, and Studio 05-09-2019, 12:08 AM  
Flash modifiers
Posted By BarryE
Replies: 6
Views: 460
Thanks all for the answers and help. I'll look into the options as mentioned. Concurrent with this thread I separated a question about linking flashes, which has received many helpful responses too.

Behind these two questions is me deciding whether I should stick with flash or switch to continuous - I didn't mention continuous as I didn't want to throw too many questions. I'll now add a continuous thread, armed with the answers of these two threads.
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